Hoes Shines In Cape Cod Classic

All-everything outfielder proves mettle in prep all-star game

The Cape Cod League all-star game was just one reason Wareham was an essential stop on the scouting calendar in late-July. The previous day, Spillane Field hosted the Baseball Express Cape Cod High School Classic, giving scouts and college coaches a look at some of the marquee players in the prep Class of 2008. Fans who couldn't make it to Wareham could also get a look, as the game was broadcast on an ESPN affiliate.

Like many high school events, things got a little sloppy late in the game, but the game featured at least a dozen potential high-round draft picks.

The 29 rising seniors were placed on one of two teams, and it was the Baseball Factory team that scored four times in the seventh inning to secure a 6-5 win over the Team One squad, to take the title.

But much of the intrigue happened early in the action. Team One's Pablo Bermudez (Miami Springs, Fla., High) took Baseball Factory starter Quinton Miller (Shawnee High, Medford, N.J.) deep to left field to lead off the ballgame, but Miller showed impressive poise, bouncing back to retire the next six batters to end his outing--four of them via strikeout.

It was a second encouraging outing of the summer on a big stage for the 6-foot-2 righthander, who was limited to two games on the mound this spring because of a shoulder injury. Miller was clearly not back to full health, but spotted a high-80s fastball well and mixed in a promising changeup and slider.

"I'm starting to get back. It was definitely a tough spring being out, but it's good to be back on the mound performing well," Miller said. "I've still got some work to do with my location, but other than that I feel pretty good. My changeup felt pretty good today, I got some guys out on that, but the fastball's always been my go-to pitch."

Miller's outing was notable, but he wasn't the only player to impress. Two-way star Jordan Swagerty (Prestonwood Christian Academy, Plano, Texas) earned most outstanding player honors for Team One after getting the start on the mound, allowing just an unearned run and a hit in two innings of work, then adding a pair of singles later in the game. And athletic outfielder L.J. Hoes (St. John's College High, Washington, D.C. took home most outstanding player honors for the victorious Baseball Factory team after reaching base three times and showing off speed and arm strength in the outfield.

"This is a tremendous thing for me, just to build more confidence and know that I can go out with these players and compete real well," said Hoes, who like Miller has committed to North Carolina. "The players here are just tremendous--some of the top players in the country, possibly pro guys or all-Americans next year."